If you were in the camp that thought there was no way the Eagles could trade Carson Wentz, then Saturday night might have been a little eye-opening.
Talk about a blockbuster.
The Rams traded Jared Goff, a couple first-round picks and a third-rounder to the Lions for Matt Stafford. If that trade can happen …
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The Eagles will spend the next few months trying to figure out a plan with Wentz. Is he the starter? Is he in a competition with Jalen Hurts? Does he even want to be here? Is the best option simply to take the hit and trade him?
After the Eagles fired Doug Pederson and hired Nick Sirianni, the ball is really in Carson’s court. The next thing to figure out is whether or not he thinks the relationship with the team is salvageable. If it isn’t, the Eagles don’t really have much of a choice. They’ll have to trade him.
That route seems much more possible after watching Saturday’s trade go down.
The biggest potential hurdle for the Eagles if they want to trade Wentz is the $33 million in dead cap space that would be left behind. While trading Wentz would actually cut down his cap hit slightly in 2021, it’s really close. So either way, Wentz is around the same cap hit if he’s on the team or if he’s gone.
Goff was the No. 1 pick in 2016 right before the Eagles took Wentz at No. 2 and there are plenty of similarities beyond that. The two quarterbacks share an agent and both signed huge contract extensions in 2019. On Saturday, the Rams finally traded away that mistake of a contract, which left $22 million in dead money on their cap in 2021. That’s a record. And it’s still $11 million less than the dead money that Wentz would leave in Philly. Goff’s contract was more tradable.
But the fact that the trade on Saturday happened shows a shift in mentality:
Brandt, the former NFL executive, has been steadfast in his belief that Wentz won’t be traded and has pointed at the money as the reason why. But the trade on Saturday showed Brandt one thing he’s never seen before so is it really out of the realm of possibility that Wentz could be the next?
Because of the Stafford element of this trade, it’s tough to isolate the Goff element. But based on the package the Lions took for Stafford, it seems like they actually wanted Goff.
If teams were interested in Goff, then teams are surely interested in Wentz too, right? No, Wentz doesn’t have the playoff success under his belt but coming into the 2020 season, if you asked NFL GMs which of the two quarterbacks they’d rather have, most would have probably said Wentz. Did that disappear in a year? Probably not. NFL coaches love the idea of being able to fix talented players who have hit a slump.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said recently that he spoke with “several” NFL general managers who would be interested in Wentz.
What kind of return would the Eagles get? Hard to say. But if multiple teams were interested, that would help give the Eagles some leverage and raise his value.
Getting something back for Wentz would be nice, but it wouldn’t be the real reason to trade him. If the Eagles end up trading Wentz it will be because they (or Wentz) have deemed the relationship is too far gone and have decided it’s best to move on. That would mean the Eagles’ taking on a record dead salary cap hit.
But if Saturday showed us anything, it’s that anything is possible.
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